The decomposed body of 8-year-old Rubina was recovered by the Thane (rural police) from the marshes near the Naigaon creek on Thursday. Rubina had been strangled to death by her brother-in-law Lotan Khan, 38, on the night of April 24, her body bundled into a gunny bag and thrown into the Naigaon creek.
Police sub-inspector (PSI) Anand Bhoir of the Crime Branch Control told HT that the Nalasopara police recovered the body after Khan told them about it.
The railway police, who are investigating the case, will make an official identification of the body through Khan and his family members, he added.
Deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Rajkumar Vhatkar said on Thursday that Rubina’s murder came to light following the arrest of Khan from the Indo-Bangladesh border on Wednesday by a crack team from the Crime Branch Control.
During interrogation, Khan allegedly told the police that on the night of April 24, he first strangulated his wife Laija, 30. When Rubina woke up on hearing the commotion, he killed her too, as she was witness to her sister’s murder.
Police said Khan, who lived in a slum at Nalasopara with his family, put the bodies in two different gunny bags and stuffed them with old clothes (even mosquito nets).
He then carried the bags to Nalasopara railway station on a bicycle. Once there, he saw a Churchgate-bound local at the platform around 4.20 am.
“He dumped the bag containing Laija’s body in the luggage compartment which was empty,” Vhatkar said adding that the CCTV grab at the station clearly established the fact. Khan then carried Rubina’s body on the cycle and dumped the bag into the creek.
Interestingly, the police learnt that Khan, who does some odd jobs, continued to stay at his house till May 1.
However, when the railway police started questioning people in the vicinity about the body they had found from a train at Churchgate on April 25, Khan panicked. “He then fled to Kolkata on the Shalimar Express and was planning to sneak into Bangladesh where he is originally from,” Vhatkar said. However, by then the crime branch control was already on his trail and nabbed him from near a bus stop at Barasaat, not far from the India-Bangladesh border.
Rubina’s body will be sent for a post mortem following her identification, even as the post mortem reports had already established that Laija had died due to strangulation.